Max Verstappen and Co won’t thunder down the Las Vegas Strip for another nine months but Sin City is already plotting its future as a Formula 1 staple.
The Grand Prix calendar expands again in 2023, welcoming a Saturday night blitz past Vegas icons like Caesars Palace and the Bellagio as its 23rd World Championship event.
The race intends to become the showpiece of Formula 1’s boom in the US: the third Grand Prix to take place in the States alongside Austin, which has now featured on the calendar for more than a decade, and Miami, which debuted last year.
With US viewing figures soaring to an average of 1.21 million per race last year – up 23 per cent on 2021 – and Florida-born Logan Sargent joining Williams to become the first US driver on the grid since 2015, the Vegas project looks destined for success.
It is believed the Grand Prix could generate £100million per race, pushing the event through the $1billion barrier after a decade and becoming the biggest deal in F1 history.
F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali forged an initial three-year agreement but after purchasing a plot of land in Sin City for $240million intended for permanent infrastructure, a longer-term partnership can be expected.
The Clark County Commission – who preside over the portion of Nevada that will welcome F1 – are set to discuss that exact prospect on February 7, considering whether to give the go-ahead for an annual Grand Prix up to 2032.
A Formula 1 statement responding to the prospect reads:”Our current agreement for an annual race extends through 2025.
“That said, Formula 1 and Liberty Media have invested in Las Vegas with the purchase of the 39 acres of land, building a 250,000 square foot paddock building and philanthropic efforts to support the local community.
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“Making Las Vegas a permanent Grand Prix stop on the F1 calendar is our goal, and a 10-year approval provides us with the certainty that race weekend would be available on the calendar for the long term.”
Taking place the week prior to Thanksgiving, from November 16 to 18, the Grand Prix quickly sold out after tickets went on sale, with only pricey hospitality packages still available.
The event was launched in November last year, a little over one year before the World Championship arrives in Nevada. Lewis Hamilton, George Russell, Sergio Perez and Alex Albon were all in attendance.
Hamilton and Co suited up to perform doughnuts for the awestruck crowd, ramping up the hype for Vegas’ big F1 return.
The Caesars Palace Grand Prix welcomed the likes of Alain Prost and Nelson Piquet when it was held in 1981 and 1982, only for the event to slip off the F1 calendar after just two editions. Domenicali hopes for a better run this time around.
“We are thrilled to welcome our fans to the launch of the 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix,” the Italian F1 CEO said at the launch event.
“The Las Vegas Grand Prix is going to become a regular fixture in the city and on the global sporting calendar, so it is important to have local fans both celebrated and celebrating with us from the very start.”